Reports show that 16% of all British adults have used a VPN in their life at least once. Of that 16%, 48% have used them multiple times or continue using them. The rise of VPNs is not unsurprising, considering how much people want to access global content but find roadblocks in the form of geo-restrictions.
People want the best VPNs available. Some of the most popular names are ExpressVPN, Surfshark VPN, NordVPN, and more. But according to Surfshark VPN review for UK, it is the most compatible UK VPN. There are many different reasons for this rise in VPN use as well in the UK.
Some people want to access restricted content, while others wish to reduce targeted advertising or keep this digital presence secure and safe from hackers and cyberattacks. Either way, the VPN business is booming. Here’s why:
VPNs & How They Fight Against Geo-Blocks
How To Get Around Geo-Blocking?
You need to follow a few simple steps to get around a geo-block. They are outlined below:
- Sign up for a reliable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN or Surfshark VPN, which are leaders in the VPN market.
- Download and install the VPN app on your corresponding device.
- Connect to the appropriate server in your desired location. (For ex: the US, if you want to access Hulu)
- Log in to the service (Hulu, in this case) and begin streaming your desired content.
When Would You Encounter Geo-Blocking?
In the realm of streaming services, there are two main situations where you will encounter a geo-block. If you are in a different region than a streaming service like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ESPN+, or another service, then you will find yourself looking at an error.
Some geo-restrictions are partial; services like Netflix are available globally but their content libraries are divided by region. So, you might find one show in the US, but that show won’t be available on the UK version of Netflix.
Other geo-restrictions are complete; Hulu is a US-based streaming service that is only available in the US. If you try to access it from anywhere in the world except the US (without a VPN), you will get the error that says that Hulu is only available in the US.
These geo-restrictions are annoying, but there are reasons why they are in place. Content licensing and copyrights can be tricky, leading to these geo-restrictions being put in place.
Sometimes geo-restrictions can be placed by your own country on certain websites or content. So, even if the website is available in your own country, you might find that your country has blocked it for some reason. This is usually done with gambling sites and the like.
Sometimes, even services such as Skype, Whatsapp, and FaceTime can be found restricted. Countries like China and the UAE block some of these services due to various reasons.
How Can Websites & Services Tell Which Country You Are In?
If they are blocking you from accessing certain content, that must mean they know where in the world you are, right? Simply by looking at your IP address, it is easy to tell where you are based.
Your IP address is one of the biggest factors in online security and it is one of the very first things that a VPN hides when you activate it. The VPN will replace your IP address with one from its secure server so that the service or app you are trying to access can’t tell which region you are from.
Sometimes, the block can be placed by the government. It could be your own country or sometimes it is a country like China. Either way, whoever places the block, your IP address is the main component used to track your real location.
Can You Use A Free VPN Or Proxy To Remove Geo-Blocking?
You can certainly try but we do not recommend ever using a free VPN. We especially advise you to avoid a proxy. These free VPNs and proxies might seem attractive, but they are often highly unsafe and completely ineffective.
Their servers aren’t as secure, so they are easily detected and blacklisted by the services and apps, which means that they can’t help you get around a geo-block. Proxies are even worse, with virtually no security or privacy algorithms, meaning all your activity is evident for the world to see.
There’s also the fact that these services are free so they are overburdened with people who want to take advantage of it, the same as you, which means a slow and sluggish connection and laggy playback as well.
Free VPNs and proxies are also highly unsafe. Most of them have no security algorithms to speak of and even those that do are unreliable because many free VPNs have been caught injecting malware onto users’ devices or selling their private browsing data to third parties.
So, free VPNs and proxies should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, invest in a premium VPN and properly secure your digital presence.
Digital security is essential in this day and age. VPNs are the ultimate tool for such activity. They provide multi-faceted features that protect you and help you get around those pesky geo-restrictions that stop you from watching your favorite content. Get yourself a premium VPN today!